MOSCOW, November 8 (R-Sport) - Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul became the latest NHL player to join the Russia-based KHL in the lockout Thursday after signing for lowly Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.
The acquisition was confirmed by the team Thursday after persistent rumors.
The Canadian becomes the first lockout signing for Avtomobilist, which is the KHL’s least successful team this season with four wins from 23 games.
Lupul’s Toronto teammate Nikolai Kulemin told R-Sport last week that NHL players such as Lupul were now being forced to settle for playing time with poor-quality KHL teams, as the league’s strongest sides have filled up their quotas of three lockout signings.
The KHL laid out conditions in September designed to keep out bit-part NHL players, including one specifying 150 NHL games in the last three seasons.
Lupul does not appear to fulfill that condition or any of the four other possible routes for NHL players into the KHL.